I thought today would be a generally laid back day. Yeh, right! After finishing a doctor's appointment and one other short errand, I thought I would play with my kids for a bit and then get down to doing some research for the coming days. Things didn't unfold like that. A call from my student, Lucia, had me at her house helping with some paperwork. I didn't arrive home until after 7 pm and I was tired. I did however get some research done, but that other chore . . . laundry . . . never got done. I must get it done tomorrow!
Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:23 (average 5:00). To do it, click here. How did you do? For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.
Foreign Policy — I suspect it is because we mistakenly confuse a desire for peace with weakness and we assume anyone who exhibits a passionate commitment to peace is some sort of “Kumbaya”-singing idealist who just doesn’t understand how the world works and is therefore not tough enough for the Big Job. As Leslie Gelb, the former president of the Council on Foreign Relations and an experienced national security professional, admitted a few years ago that preserving one’s credibility in the foreign-policy establishment requires a certain enthusiasm for the use of military power. Even Obama felt compelled to give a rather hawkish speech when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize (!), lest anyone infer he wasn’t tough enough to be the Leader of the Free World.
The current veneration of all things military reinforces this problem, to the point that hardly any politicians or ordinary citizens will utter a critical word about “the troops” or their commanders. The United States has become better at starting wars than at winning or finishing them, yet it still treats unsuccessful generals with enormous deference and punctuates sporting contests with aerial flybys and other displays of martial fervor. I’m all for thanking veterans for their service and respecting their sacrifices, but I’d rather show it by providing better medical treatment for veterans afterward than by giving the Pentagon a free pass.
Read the rest of this interesting article at Foreign Policy. What should peace look like? Should it be just the cessation of hostilities, or should it be deeper, more profound?
Upworthy — Right now, in the small village of Deh'Subz, Afghanistan, the first private, free, rural women's college in the nation's history is being built.
The pioneer behind the project?
Photo courtesy of Razia's Ray of Hope Foundation.
71-year-old Razia Jan, an educator who grew up in a more liberal Afghanistan before Taliban occupation. She later moved to the U.S. to attend Harvard University and then settled in Massachusetts.
Read more about how Razia Jan is changing the lives of girl's, their parents and their villages. About a month ago, I posted Get Girls Back in the Classroom in Care2. If you did not have a chance to sign it then, please consider it today. An educated girl makes a big difference to herself, her family and her community. and let us not forget Malala Yousafzai who said "I truly believe the only way we can create global peace is through not only educating our minds, but our hearts and our souls."
Foreign Policy — On Thursday afternoon, the world received its answer. After months of speculation, India finally released its formal greenhouse gas emissions plan for the COP 21 conference. And the answer is promising.
Fossil fuels will still make up a large percentage of the global energy mix until at least 2040 — even with robust growth of renewables. This is particularly true of India. The Indian INDC partially acknowledges this, to the extent that, while promising action on climate change, it also asks the developed world for “equitable carbon and development space” — in essence, arguing that since India has been responsible for a historically low proportion of emissions activity, it cannot be asked to make drastic emissions cuts at a time when it needs as much effort as possible directed at fighting endemic poverty. If developed nations wish India to be a responsible player on climate change, this plan argues, the country needs assistance, especially financial, in aggressively adopting new low- and zero-carbon technologies.
Read the whole article at Foreign Policy. India has some doable goals for emissions, but with so many of her people caught in profound poverty, it won't be easy, nor will it be short term.
My Universe —
Thanks to Ted W and Carol B @ Care2 for finding this gem.
Having lived in the north, I can relate!